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Saturday, October 22, 2016

On the average sunny day, Germany’s huge energy grid gets 40 percent of its power from the sun. Guess what happened one recent morning when the sun went into eclipse. Nothing.

Or close to nothing. When the moon hid the sun for a few hours, the backup natural gas and coal plants switched on. The price of electricity rose briefly. That was it. Solar again showed itself to be a reliable energy source under a tough challenge.

Back in the United States, meanwhile, electric companies and various fossil fuel interests are fighting the American public’s growing passion for rooftop solar panels. They’re also doing battle with state laws requiring utilities to get a certain percentage of their power from renewable sources.

Oil, gas, and coal lobbyists, fed by Koch brother checks, are backing a campaign by utilities to slap fees on solar panels. Their target is net metering — the system whereby homes and businesses with solar panels sell their excess electricity back to the grid.

In Arizona, the big utility Salt River Project is adding a $50-a-month surcharge for customers with rooftop solar panels. SRP argues, as do other utilities, that solar customers rely on the grid for backup power when the sun doesn’t shine and should pay for it.

Studies out of Missouri, New York, Texas, Nevada, and Vermont counter that the alleged subsidies to those with solar panels are being offset. After all, solar consumers reduce the amount of power the utilities must provide — especially on hot sunny days, when demand is high. And a price can be put on greenhouse gases that were not emitted.

Big voices in the conservative movement are leading the charge for solar panel taxes. They also liken states’ green energy mandates to Obamacare. The conservative masses, however, don’t seem to be taking the bait. You don’t even have to ask about the liberals.

A power source that is domestic, is pollution-free and costs nothing (once the panels are paid off) — all courtesy of Mr. Sun — would seem to be in our national interests. Also, how interesting that SRP, in super-sunny Arizona, reportedly gets less than 2 percent of its power from solar and wind sources combined.

Huge numbers of Americans have been installing solar panels, thanks to better and cheaper technology. Businesses that stand to lose from this fact have set off clashes in nearly half the states — from Maine to California and Washington to South Carolina.

The utilities weren’t getting much traction in the legislatures — even in such Republican states as Indiana and Utah. So they turned to the public utilities commissions, where they can get a more private hearing.

Pro-solar conservatives hold that taxing solar panels stifles competition. A group called T.U.S.K. (Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed) is led by a former congressman named Barry Goldwater Jr. (the son).

Of a plan in Indiana to tax solar panels, one woman wrote, “Indiana’s utilities are interested in keeping us reliant on traditional fuel sources that hurt our national security and weaken our economy.” She would be Roberta Combs, president of the Christian Coalition of America.

So Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can huff and puff about a “war on coal,” but to little avail. By the way, the domestic solar industry now employs more workers than does coal mining.

The utilities’ distress is understandable, but they can’t win this war. The means of generating energy are undergoing profound change worldwide. The utilities must change their business model or, if they can’t, concede the inevitable. You can’t stop the march of solar power any more than you can stop the sun from rising.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at [email protected] To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at

Photo: Solar panels at the Pittsfield Waste Water Treatment Facility (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection/Flickr)

  • bernieo

    Anti tax conservatives putting taxes on people who use solar panels would be a major story for a serious media.

    • Insinnergy

      It would indeed be hilarious… but not the most hypocritical thing they’ve done.
      Hate “big government” interfering in people’s private lives…
      BUT most happy to make laws about who you can and can’t marry, and which chromosomes you must have in order to use a bathroom, and which trans-vaginal ultrasound you must have before getting benefits…

      Hate giving “free money” to people that should be able to “support themselves through hard work and determination”….
      BUT most happy to give millions in subsidies to large businesses in the oil, gas, pharmacological, medical and farming industries to name just a few… who don’t need them. Happy to leave tax loopholes that feed “free” money to corporations.

      Espouse “Christian values”…
      BUT… hate and disadvantage the poor. See President Jimmy Carter’s pithy and famous quote.

      Etc etc etc etc
      They are inconsistent to the point of incomprehensibility. Back bend after back bend to do one thing for some people who pay them, and do the opposite thing for their base that vote for them.

      I fail to see why they are not simply mocked out of power.
      …Except of course that science shows that IQ varies inversely with strong religious belief.
      As if we needed evidence of that.

      • hicusdicus

        What do you smoke before you write this stuff? It must be from the golden triangle.

  • Dominick Vila

    Insisting on the preservation of 19th century fuels, regardless of how much damage they do to our environment, is as ridiculous as promising to repeal the ACA, without offering a viable alternative or proposing changes to make it more effective. The only reason solar and wind technologies have not made greater headway in the USA is because of cost. The moment the cost of solar panels go down, or alternative energy investment tax credits are put in place, people will switch to solar for most house energy needs. Solar and wind is being used extensively throughout Europe, Australia, and Japan with great success. There is no reason the same could not happen here. That is, unless the same people who insist on bringing back the horrible health care system we finally left behind, or preserving our antiquated rail system while the rest of the world build bullet trains, succeed in holding us back.

    • hicusdicus

      Alternative power would be anti union.

      • Lynda Groom

        Please proceed to explain that point of view.

        • hicusdicus

          Just having fun with Dominick. He believes the whole world should be unionized and paying dues.

    • Ran_dum_Thot

      Try to remember that “the government” is you. The tax credits are paid by you. The laws you don’t like are supported by you. Are you a leader or participant in some non-mainstearm political group that is trying to really change things from the ground up? Like educating the rather complacent, fat and happy citizen enjoying all the freebies that you pay for? Why don’t you work on a ban against 8 cyl. vehicles to reduce gas comsuption? How about ending the sale of tobacco products? How about demanding that able bodied people of the dole actually work or participate in a CCC type program if they can’t find a job in the private sector. Quit talking and do something useful.

  • m s 57

    Costa Rica has spent the last 3 months powering the country entirely by alternative renewable energy. Sweden is at 50% annually.

    • johninPCFL

      5 million folks versus 320 million, far fewer air conditioners, and smaller houses.

      • m s 57

        The energy demands for a population are directly proportional to the size of the population. And regarding the comment on air conditioners — you do realize it is a tropical country, don’t you, far closer to the equator — and thus hotter — than we are?

        • hicusdicus

          What makes you think the general populace can afford air conditioners ?

        • NoNumberNow

          Energy use is not directly proportional to size population. Energy use certainly decreases with a decrease in population. But one can’t compare a population that considers central heat and air and indoor plumbing the norm to a population that live in very small homes, with no central anything except running water.

    • hicusdicus


      • m s 57

        “Costa Rica is running without having to burn a single fossil fuel, and it’s been doing so for 75 straight days.”

        • hicusdicus

          Have you ever been to Costa Rico I lived there for three months. They have the worlds best coffee and worst roads. Those big trucks don’t run on solar power and neither do the cooking stoves or oil lamps. where do you hear this stuff?

          • m s 57

            Well, I put the link there so you’d know where I heard this stuff. I didn’t say that trucks were running on solar power. I said they were powering the country — generating electricity to be used nationwide — without burning fossil fuels, i.e., relying on alternative sources of energy. It’s not particularly difficult to click on the link provided.

          • hicusdicus

            I would have to see it to believe it. I have installed off the grid systems and I know the problems. and the cost. I feel sure there is some scamming going on.

    • NoodleDogg #1

      “Costa Rica is a small nation, has less than 5 million people, doesn’t
      have much of a manufacturing industry that would require a lot of
      energy, and is filled with volcanoes and other topographical features that lend themselves to renewable energy.” from MSN news article. Costa Rica and other small countries going non-fossil are also aware that a back up fuel source is necessary and most are relying in fossil fuels for that back up. Time frame to become independent: 2050 or thereabouts. On a small scale, independence from fossil fuel is feasible. But places with dense population and large manufacturing facilities are problematic.

      • m s 57

        Problematic, yes, but nowhere near as problematic as continuing to stumble along without making it a significant priority. When the chairman of the senate committee for energy denies climate change even exists — and takes to throwing snowballs on the senate floor to prove it — “hey, it’s a lovely day outside ” — and when the fossil fuel industry and the Koch brothers want to tax(!) solar panels, we’re in trouble. A 3.5 degree rise in global temps. is already cooked into the books. Unchecked, a rise to 6 or 8 degrees produces global catastrophe. A 10 degree rise produces an environment that threatens human life.
        One-third of all electricity produced in the US is lost in transmission, a system designed when that loss was inconsequential. The desert in the American southwest is absolutely huge — and sunny. The biomass that is generated in agricultural production goes relatively to waste. There are thousands miles of coastline where you could produce wind and tidal energy. You could place scrubbers on coal plants to reduce emissions. There are lots and lots of things that could be done, but doing nothing means nothing will change. It is difficult for us to imagine events

        • Independent1

          And sadly, what you’re just implying, is the tip of the iceberg. Since Republicans basically took over enough of Congress to control everything America is doing in moving toward the future in 1995 (the Dems have had enough control to implement progressive ideas for only 10 -12 months in the past 20 years); Republicans have basically worked to keep America in the 20th century.

          About the time Gingrich was elected in 1995 and started the GOP’s obsession with trashing Democrats and our nation, China’s infrastructure was like America was back in the early 1900s. Yet in the past 20 years, while America has been in stagnation with respect to improving not only our highway systems, federal buildings, bridges and whatever, but also our high-speed rail system, China has moved forward at almost light speed. China has accomplished more in improving it’s infrastructure over the past 20 years than America has in the past 100.

          If we had kept up with China, not only would our highways, bridges and federal buildings be much improved, but you’d be able to step on a train in Boston around 5-6 in the morning, and be in Los Angeles in time that evening to book the night in a hotel. China now has trains that travel 303mph. That means you could step on a train in Penn Station, and be in downtown Chicago in about 2.5 hours; less time than it would take you to drive to an airport, go through security, wait on the tarmac, fly to Chicago, wait for your luggage, hail a cab and get into downtown Chicago. Probably at least 2 hours quicker.

          Had the Republicans not done everything they could to hold America into being a 20th century nation; and let us move into the 21st century. Not only would America be far less dependent on fossil fuels, and have a much more modern infrastructure and high-speed rail system; but the global warming may well be far less; as there would be far less burning of fossils – including cars driving around; and there would be far less takeoffs of planes that use enormous amounts of fossil fuels: because planes should only be being used to travel more than 1,500 miles. All short-flight planes should have been being phased out by now as people could actually get between 1,500 mile destinations faster by train than by plane.

          (And that doesn’t even include even great improvements in our country’s freight hauling. CSX loves to advertise that it can move a ton of freight 400 miles on the equivalent of a gallon of gasoline. Can you imagine the improvement to our environment if there were thousands less trucks on the road?)

          • m s 57

            And it is willful ignorance — ideology necessarily excludes science. But what do you expect from those whose textbooks now actively teach creationism alongside “Darwinism” and that Jesus walked with the dinosaurs.

          • Independent1

            Yes, willful ignorance, all for the almighty dollar. Willingness to trash not only our country, but also its people and our environment: all for Money!!

            What always puzzles me, is how strong the desire for MONEY must be for people who are willing to let the world around them fall into total disrepair, even to the point of what they’re allowing to happen, being lethal to humans living in that environment, WHEN THEY have to live in that environment too!!

            The evil draw of money is so strong, that some people are willing to take the chance that the dangers they’re creating by loving it – won’t be detrimental to themself!! How unfortunate that is for all of us!!!

          • m s 57

            It is rooted in the culture: in Genesis, where God himself declared man shall have dominion over the earth; in the concept of the self, bound by ego; and in the capitalist imagination, where “enough” does not exist. There is no sense that man is of the earth not separate from it. And ceaseless accumulation is the ego-centered self’s response to the fear of death, a self-placatory pursuit. And it spells our doom.

          • Independent1

            It’s also unfortunate that these fake Christians that call themselves conservatives, have poisoned the minds of so many people with respect to religion. True Christians don’t believe that nonsense about the world being 6,000 old; nor do true Christians believe that when Mose’s wrote that God create the world in 7 days – that those were 7 earth days; they were 7 of God’s days which in some cases were billions of years. And true Christians don’t believe that what scientists call ‘evolution’ was always just creatures ‘magically’ adapting to the environment around them; but in some cases they are nothing more than God tinkering with his creations; in which, he actually instilled the ability to change in a way that would make them to adapt more to the environment they were in. True Christians don’t dispute that evolution occurred, just that it was God who oversaw that change called – evolution.

            Why would you suppose, that with all their efforts, scientists have not been able to find that missing link between apes and man which they claim existed? Because it never existed. When God achieved a creature close to what he wanted ‘man’ to be like – he did just that – created man.

          • m s 57

            It’s always important too that the Bible is an edited text, including some texts, excluding others, like the Gnostic Gospels where they wrote not that Man has dominion over the earth but that the Kingdom of God is spread all over the earth — is the entirety of creation itself — but men do not see.

          • Independent1

            Exactly! And it’s not always something that should be taken literally. Readers need to keep in mind that it’s the recordings of men, who must well have had a very difficult job of totally understanding what God was telling them; if it’s difficult for us today to sometimes understand explicitly what God meant by some of his actions; how much more difficult must have been for those who lived two plus thousands of years ago – to write all that down??

            And a big problem we have today also, is many being willing to let go of a lot that was recorded in the Old Testament – even though, the writer of Hebrews through God’s guidance, made it clear that what Jesus taught when he was here, superceded what was in the Old Testament such that the Old Testament should have long since vanished in our hearts and minds.

          • m s 57

            In a real sense it is Biblical literalism (never mind the numerous textual contradictions) versus the mysteries, the allegories of Jesus’ teaching. It is the Old Testament versus Christianity. It is the simple-minded seeking simplistic answers. And it is not only hypocrisy (witness the governor of Indiana signing into law a bill that he says is about religious freedom but is in fact about the freedom to discriminate against a whole class of people, in principle no different from Hitler seeking to murder a whole class of people) but political.

          • Independent1

            Yes, I guess it’s not surprising, that if the majority of people who claim to be Christians, will often selectively choose verses out of the Bible, to justify their actions or their in-actions; they will also, as you point out – support laws that will force on others, they’re misguided notions of what they claim are – ‘family values’. The whole notion of Republicans ‘family values’, is nothing more than total hypocrisy on their part. Few if any Republicans, live lives that are ‘righteous enough’, to be throwing stones at anyone else, or to be judging them; as the Bible says in many places, they should not be doing. But of course, they conveniently ignore all those verses about -‘Thou Shalt Not Judge’.

  • Daniel Jones

    You wanna know why they are frantic to stop solar?
    It’s not all that likely Nikola could have pulled it off, but when he went to a corporate hotshot of the olden variety seeking to utilize the Earth itself as an electric battery, the deal-breaker was reputedly because he told the man outright there would be no way to charge for it once it was widespread.

    • NoodleDogg #1

      Morgan stopped funding Tesla because he could not see any potential for a decent return on his investment.

  • Alvin Harrison

    Those with the most to lose, Corp/1% oil and gas energy producers, will fight ANY forward thinking proposal to promote alternative energy sources. Unfortunately they will soon be like buggy whip mfgrs trying to fight the horses carriage…the benefits are too great over the previous tech….and yes horses pulling wagons was tech…real old tech, but tech just the same.

    • Daniel Jones

      I suspect they want the dirtiest oil and coal out there to try to cloud over the panels.
      As anti-science as these assholes are, it’s not beyond me to actually suspect they’d welcome a new Ice Age to counter global warming claims and stop solar in one fell stroke.

      • hicusdicus

        What assholes are you talking about?

    • NoodleDogg #1

      We have a global society based on carbon fuel consumption. It isn’t going to disappear overnight especially with China and India going gang busters on unsustainable growth. The petroleum industry does not actively fight against alternate fuel development. It just isn’t a field in which they have expertise, any more than the IT or the health industries have. Why don’t you demand that these high profit industries contribute part of their profit toward alternate energy development? How about cutting back on bloated federally funded programs like entitlements and use that money for R and D on alternate fuels?

  • TZToronto

    Cold fusion can’t come soon enough. Imagine having a little box attached to your house that powers everything on your home–for basically nothing.

    • hicusdicus

      You going to put this little cold fusion box in the hands of Hillbillies, red necks and morons? How furnishing each one with a tactical nuke to help solve their land disputes.

  • Lynda Groom

    Decades from now our grandchildren will look at this period of history with great wonder and with many, many questions. Number one being, why were so many so afraid of so much for so long???

    • hicusdicus

      Afraid of what?

      • Lynda Groom

        If you have to ask an answer is pointless.

        • hicusdicus

          I doubt if you have a rational answer. I doubt if I want to hear it. I am sure it would make Edith Bunker sound like a genius.

          • Lynda Groom

            Thank you for making my point. It saves a lot of typing.

          • hicusdicus

            You are welcome, I know typing ,spelling and thinking are difficult for you. I have always tried to help the handicapped.

          • Lynda Groom

            Once again you’ve made my point. Thank you.

          • hicusdicus

            You are welcome, I am always ready to help a lady in distress.

    • Ran_dum_Thot

      One should always use examples and specific facts to make a point. You are just rambling.

      • Lynda Groom

        Seriously??? The subject of the article was solar panels and alternative energy. There was no need for me to state the obvious. Was this really so difficult to grasp without examples and specific facts?

        • Ran_dum_Thot

          Is English your native language? Seriously, do you even remotely understand what is entailed to install, maintain and integrate solar and non-solar systems? How about the cost( $15,000 to $$60,000)? When a solar system does not provide enough electricity to run your house you fall back on the big, bad utility company to provide you electricity. And you have to pay for that. The excess power they buy back from solar generation doesn’t just magically happen. Net metering covers the cost of the transfer, equipment and personnel needed to make the system work smoothly and reliably. Did you know that if all homes had solar panels installed it would only account for about 20% of the energy used in the USA?

          • Lynda Groom

            per month during the summer. The AC bumping up the summer bill.

            According to the U S Solar Industry Association and our local installers the average cost here the mountains of Northen California is $10,192. A savings of $143 per month on electrical bills and a 20 year savings of $34,260. The cost of going solar has dropped between 40-50% since 2010.

            Several famlies in our neighborhood have gone solar over that past few years. We’ve yet to hear any horror stories from them about the pitfalls of going solar. They all have spoken of the inverters having to be replaced sometime within the first 20 years period.

            All of the problems with solar seem to be getting solved, albeit far to slowly for some. Indeed everyone who goes solar is aware, or should be, that they will still be using power from the grid when their system can’t meet the demand. They also get it that they are also getting credits from their power company for the excess energy their solar panels put into the grid. At least this is the case in this part of California. PG&E is our supplier. One of our neighbors supplies more back into the grid than the maximum credit that PG&E allows. He is effect paying nothing to PG&E.

            You’ve made the point that if all homes had panels this would account for about 20% of the energy needs. Don’t forget that solar farms in the deserts of the southwest and elsewhere would be adding to that percentage. We don’t have to put our eggs in only one basket.

          • Ran_dum_Thot

            You only pay $35/mo. for electricity? The average residential charge by PG &E is around $80 for 500kw hours. So, you live in the dark, I guess. Germany generates about 6% of its electricity with solar power. About 70% of Germany’s electricity is still generated by conventional fuel sources. Their plan to make renewable energy the prime source of electricity is decades down the road.

          • Lynda Groom

            No we don’t live in the dark. We have always been very conservative in our use of utilities. We don’t need lights in the house during the day as we are usually out for the day. Our home is of modest size, well insulated and holds the heat.

            Solar along with other renewables continue to grow each and every year. Indeed it will be a long time before, and if, renewables can become the prime source of electricity. That is however no a good reason to not continue that growth. You might find the latest report from the Renewable Global Status Report of 2014. Good things are being done all over the world with and without the assistance of so-called political leadership.

  • I’ve looked seriously at solar, mainly as research for my novel (After the Blackout). The cost of the panels is not the biggest problem. It’s the cost of batteries that has prevented me from taking the next step.
    The sun shines brightly here in Arizona, but not at night. Unless I can store that energy, I will still be dependent upon the grid. That makes the APS surcharge a valid argument. If I had solar panels, I would be able to produce SOME of my power, but not all of what it takes to air condition a home in 110+ weather. There would be NO excess to sell to the utility company, so they won’t benefit from my solar. And I will still need to buy electricity to supplement what I produce during the day AND for all of my needs at night. Still, I would lower my electric bill, reducing their income, so I can see why they would want me to pay them more.
    Until batteries are greatly improved (and the price greatly reduced) solar will not be a viable alternative.

    • Daniel Jones

      No sir, it does not. If the hookup monitors the nighttime energy use and charges for what you take from the grid, there is no reason at all for a surcharge on what you do NOT take off the grid!

      • As a consumer, you have a valid point. I’m trying to also look at it from a business perspective. Utility companies are paying consumers to go solar in the form of a rebate, even though doing so may hurt their bottom line. If we really want to be fair, there should be no surcharge but neither should there be a rebate.

        BTW, the other reason I haven’t gone solar is the way they want to connect. If you are still connected to the grid, your solar system stops working if the grid goes down. The justification is that if you are supplying power to the grid while repairs are being made you might endanger the repairmen. But I will not spend my money for a system that won’t work in a power outage!

        I could go completely off-grid (and not get the rebates) but then if my system fails I’m without power. For that reason, I consider the surcharge as a form of insurance.

        • hicusdicus

          You don’t quite understand how it works.

          • Obviously, you don’t live in a subdivision with an HOA.
            I can’t have a generator. I don’t have a well. I’m limited in how many panels I can install because they have to be on the south-facing roof – I can’t erect a free-standing array.
            I DO understand how it works. I just don’t have as many options as someone who lives in a rural area.

          • hicusdicus

            Well understand this. In today’s society at present, line power is the cheapest and the cleanest you can get. Inverter systems at best are expensive and require disciplined maintenance. If you live in a congested area and every body loses their power it might not be a good idea to show the neighbors how well off you are and how stupid they are.

          • Yes, it’s like putting up a neon billboard that says “I have what you want, come and take it” LOL

            And that’s just one more reason I haven’t installed solar. It worked much better in my novel than it would likely work in real life.

          • hicusdicus

            Its not a solar system you install it is an inverter system A 220 inverter of about 90 amps that is good quality will cost about $3000.00 then you will need to buy 48 volt dc batteries, A small generator for charging batteries then you get your solar units at a small fortune. Then you will pay someone to install it. Line power is your main source of charging. I have done it. My thought on all this hassle is that life is to short for something you will probably never need.

          • Actually, prices have come down a lot. A decent power inverter can be had for $500. 12 volt marine batteries are cheaper than 48 volt (just need a lot of them). Even the panels have come down in price – of course, they’re all made in China now.

          • hicusdicus

            Depends on what you call decent. When I say 48 volt I mean the system. I would prefer 8, 6 volt batteries. 48 volt system only requires 00 wire. The last I checked, magnum power is US made, for now. A quality 220 volt 90 amp inverter is about 3000.00. This is one project you don’t want to cut corners on. Inferior inverters will destroy any circuit boards it feeds. Not right away, but over time they prematurely quit. If you are serious look into a 9000 watt brush-less low speed Kabota diesel. They wont harm electronics, use less than half a gallon per hr and have 30000 hr run time. They cost about 5200.00 and are considered as good as you can get.

    • hicusdicus

      It can work quite efficiently. You have to know what you are doing. You don’t want to take the whole house off the grid. Only the essentials. Refrigeration, lights and well pump. You need a generator in combo with solar units. Line power is the main source when available. I have done it I doubt you would like it. It requires disciplined monitoring.

    • Independent1

      Are companies like Solar City, not offering home installations for free in Arizona? Where they install the solar system, including the battery, at their expense; and you apparently rent the installation from them for a monthly fee. Which from ads I’ve heard here in New England, should cost you less than what you’re paying your local power provider. Solar electricity is spreading here in New England, where the states and towns are not putting roadblocks in the way via unwarranted charges like allowing power company surcharges.

      • They are. I see 2 problems with their system:

        Once again, if the grid goes down your system goes down with it and;

        The rental fee sounds good now, but just like a utility company, they could hit you with rate increases in the future.

        • Independent1

          I’m not sure the last part of that applies – I think when you sign a rental contract for the system for say 20 years, I think the rental rate is fixed for 20 years.

          In any case, here’s an example below of what we’re talking about if you put in your own system. See that they’re talking about reducing a $132/mo average electric bill down to $8/mo.

          So although I don’t have data on the rates companies installing solar systems charge for rent, my hunch is it’s considerably lower than most people’s average electric rate at the time they install on of those rental systems.

          See this:

          How much will solar power save on your electric bill?

          How much you can save depends on your usage and variations in weather. However, say your monthly electric bill is $132 a month when averaged over a year. With solar power your bill could average only $8 a month. The reason we can’t reduce it to zero is that most utility companies will charge a minimum payment for connection to the grid. There is no sense in having a larger solar array that would bring your overall usage to zero.

          • I sat through a sales pitch last year. (See, I really have looked into solar).

            The shape of my roof, together with all the vent pipes sticking up in all the wrong places, limits the number of panels I can mount. They actually declined to rent their system to me because it wouldn’t make enough of a difference to be economically feasible.

            My year-round average bill is only $114. Not bad for a 1700 sq ft house with central air in the desert. I only want solar to ensure power in a blackout, and that means an off-grid system (which they won’t install). With enough batteries and the panels that will fit on my roof I could power everything but the A/C. That means I’d still get to keep food from spoiling, have the means to cook indoors, run a few lights, recharge a few devices and run a portable evap cooler to make one room bearable.

            I’m still considering it.

        • Independent1

          And by the way, if the only reason you’re not installing solar is because when the grid goes down, so does your power. Get a back up generator and have that installed as backup power when the grid is down. Those are not that expensive unless you expect to power everything when the power is out that you use when the grid is up.

          • A back up generator requires fuel. Thanks to my HOA, I have no place to put the generator or the fuel tank. I also can’t erect a wind turbine.

      • NoNumberNow

        They install a solar system for free? I wonder what it costs to buy the equipment then. Or rent, as you say. Have you investigated the cost of necessary periodic maintenance, or the life span of the batteries and solar panels? Are you on solar? For the folks with money a solar system may be feasible but the remaining 99.9% of the population it is an extravagance. Only with subsidies and gimmies are people able to afford solar.

        • Independent1

          I thought you were doing research.

          Installing solar energy on your home is just like going out and leasing a car. Just like your auto dealer pays for the car upfront and you ‘rent it from them’, the same is true with solar energy. Solar City pays for the panels, the batteries and the installation up front, and you ‘rent the system from them, including the maintenance’. The only difference is the lease period – where it’s usually 3-5 years with a car, it’s 20 years with solar. And generally your lease payment for the solar is less than what you were paying the electric company for power before the solar installation. So installing solar energy is a win-win for the home owner and the environment.

          Doing so, IS NOT, just for the 99.0%. Several solar companies like SolarCity have been making thousands of solar installations in New England; unfortunately, they can only do the installations in states and townships that will permit the installations without a lot of hidden costs like surcharges for the power companies that make the installations prohibitive. It’s not the cost of the installations but the fact that Republicans in standing up for the fossil fuel industry are working to put as many roadblocks in the way of moving to renewable energy as they can think of.

          See this from Solar City:

          Step 1: Free solar consultation

          Every solar power project starts with a quick conversation to see if solar is right for you. We’ll discuss your energy use and take a look at your roof using satellite imaging.

          We’ll prepare a free customized quote if everything looks good. It includes all of your options and projects your energy savings for the next 20 years.

          • NoNumberNow

            Unfortunately, net leasing programs are not universal. None are available in my state yet. Just like a car you lease, you still have important issues to address. Who is going to clean off the 8″ of snow? Does SolarCity come out and wash the panels on a regular basis? Clean panels are a lot more efficient. The utility companies don’t have surcharges that make solar system costs prohibitive. There is a significant investment on the part of the power company to take back the power from potentially 1,000s of solar systems. It isn’t a matter of flipping a switch. The initial cost of the system itself that is prohibitive: $15,000 to $25,000 for a typical home system. After the tax rebate ends in 2016 either solar systems will get a lot cheaper or there will be a big decrease in the # of systems installed. Power companies are heavily regulated so go after your elected politicians to get changes.

          • Independent1

            None are available in your state, because as I said in one of my posts: politicians on the dole from fossil fuel companies have worked through ALEC to pass legislation that is making it harder for people like you and me to get solar; Republicans keep enacting laws, even in my state that make it unprofitable for companies like Solar City to offer their services here too. But that’s not a reason to be negative on something that is a win-win!! Not only does converting residential houses to solar help a little each time with reducing pollution, it also frees up money that homeowners can spend on the economy instead of giving it to power companies who often take the profits they make and invest them overseas.

            Sorry, if all you’re going to try and do is bring up negatives about something that’s obviously a good thing. And which nitwit Republicans are fighting against, you’re blowing smoke in the wind!!! Goodbye!!

          • NoNumberNow

            Fossil fuel companies aren’t a big item in my state. Our energy co-op is actively pursuing alternate fuel options. They even have solar power installed on the home office. But we are a conservative state and believe in living within our means. So uncontrolled spending and big debt are not part of the picture for our state government even when the latest popular band wagon is going on by. Let’s face it, if it weren’t for the Feds offering subsidies to get solar going, most people would not be getting it. Consevation is still one of the best tools to reduce energy consumption.

          • Independent1

            “But we are a conservative state and believe in living within our means. So uncontrolled spending and big debt are not part of the picture for our state government even when the latest popular band wagon is going on by.”

            Wow!! You’re either a bona fide RWNJ – or you’ve been brainwashed. What you just spoke is nothing more than code for: To make sure we and our rich friends in the top 20% get to reap the wealth from the peons, we’ll cut budgets and services for the peons no matter how much it makes them suffer.

            Republican budgets are nothing more than licenses to steal – steal from the bottom 80% – it’s got absolutely nothing to do with “living within your means”!! What utter crap.

            Republicans running barebones absurd budgets is why Red States lead the nation in every measurable NEGATIVE category INCLUDING BEING outright crooks.

            Of the 24 states with more than 12% of their populations living in poverty – 20 of them are red states!!

            Of the 17 states in America who get back less than $1 for each dollar of taxes they send to Washington, only 3 of them are Red States and they get back more than 95 cents for each dollar. It’s 14 Blue States that are actually keeping America running.

            And nothing could show the absolute insanity of the way Republicans govern a state more than Texas – the cesspool of America. When compared to other states on 23 socio/economic measures like the police and fire protection the state provides, the number of Texans living in poverty, the number of Texans without health insurance, the cost of homeowners insurance, having the worst healthcare system in the nation, having the most polluted environment in the nation, the percent of politicians convicted of crimes, the deterioration of the states roads bridges and other infrastructure, how much burden the state puts on the poor with its tax structure and on and on:
            Texas ranks in the bottom 5 in more than 90% of those measures and in 100% of the bottom 10 in the nation.

            And here’s just an example of newly elected Republicans in New Hampshire trying to turn that state into just one more red state pariah within America:

            Republican Budget Cuts In New Hampshire Provoke Backlash From Clergy

            Some excerpts:

            What started it – cutting the governors budget:

            The Republican budget would cut approximately $240 million from the biennial budget proposed by Governor Maggie Hassan, which one public sector union leader said is “already lean to the bone.” Richard Gulla, president of SEA/SEIU Local 1984, told ThinkProgress the budget cuts will disproportionately affect low-income taxpayers.
            And why – to give tax breaks to corporations and the already wealthy:

            As they slash the budgets for these vulnerable populations, the Republicans that control New Hampshire’s legislature are aiming to cut corporate taxes by $190 million. House Bill 386 would lower New Hampshire’s business profits tax from 8.5 to 7 percent, resulting in a $120 million loss each biennium. Senate Bills 1 and 2 would cut New Hampshire’s business enterprise tax and business profits tax by another $70 million each biennium.
            Just some of the cuts (which have nothing to do with living within a state’s means – it’s all about making the peons suffer so corporations and the wealthy can live high on the hog:

            The budget that the Republican-controlled House Finance Committee recently approved makes sweeping cuts to state agencies that provide services to the elderly, the disabled, the homeless, and the working poor. Their budget also discontinues New Hampshire’s expansion of Medicaid, resulting in 65 lost jobs at the Department of Health and Human Services, and 37,000 people who will be unable to have affordable access to healthcare.

            House Republicans funded social services for the elderly, like meals on wheels, caregiver support, and transportation at a level $10.5 million lower than what Gov. Hassan proposed. The Republican budget would also cut aid for the developmentally-disabled by $26 million, which would result in an additional $26 million cut from matching federal funds. Mickey Natoli, a retired teacher from Salem, New Hampshire, told ThinkProgress his 24-year-old daughter Brianna, who is developmentally-delayed, has cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder, and is hearing-impaired, depends on those funds.

            “She is an active member of our community,” Natoli said. “She attends night school, participates in a theater group and Special Olympics, and also volunteers at a soup kitchen and at a food pantry. If the $52 million were to be cut, all of this would end for Brianna and it would be a drastic change to her life and to our family.”

            House Republicans have even gone after domestic violence victims, approving cuts last week to emergency domestic violence shelters by 50 percent. Concord city councilor Amanda Grady-Sexton, who also serves as public policy director for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, said that since 2012, when Republican Speaker of the House Bill O’Brien cut off the state’s matching funds that New Hampshire’s shelters have depended on since 1994, advocates have been struggling with funding cuts. Now, there is just $277,000 divided amongst the 12 shelters that help battered women in New Hampshire. Grady-Sexton said last year, 1100 battered women were denied emergency shelter due to funding cuts.

            “Every single crisis center has laid off staff, and satellite offices have closed. Each single advocate now serves around 300 people across New Hampshire,” Grady-Sexton said. “This is a problem, because in the state and around the nation, approximately 50 percent of homicides are domestic violence-related, and 92 percent of murder suicides are domestic violence-related.”


            If you really believe what Republicans are doing is nothing more than living within a state’s means, you’re far more clueless than even I believed: If you do believe that, you are a moron who’s sitting back while he’s been robbed blind by outright gangster called GOP politicians.

          • NoNumberNow

            Co2 is not the only pollutant of concern. Asia accounts for 65% of the mercury contamination in the world. Think about that when buying fish/fish products from China. In underdeveloped nations, 70% of their industrial waste is dumped into the water. You know what many people’s reaction to India is, when they step off the plane? It smells like a sewer. One study estimated 2.1 million deaths from air pollution. “Most of the estimated global deaths likely occur in East and South Asia,
            which have large populations and severe air pollution, said study
            researcher Jason West, an assistant professor of environmental sciences
            at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.” About 1.5 million babies die in Africa every year from contaminated food and water. Pick your battle, but don’t ignore the facts.

          • Independent1

            I have no clue why you’re dragging the issue away from global warming, which is what this whole discussion was initially about – installing solar to work at reducing the effects of CO2 emissions which are a big factor in global warming. All those issues you bring up are going to be moot if global warming makes our planet uninhabitable; which we’re rapidly getting to

            What’s the point of bringing up pollution issues in other countries where we have very little influence in what they’re doing, when we have similar problems here in America which we should work at correcting -whether or not they’re the worst on the planet? None of that takes away from the fact that allowing the current usage of fossil fuels for our energy to continue may quite likely in the not too distant future force millions/billions of people to completely rethink their lives, if in fact, the planet is still inhabitable. Whether you think it’s necessary or not, somehow people have to start using solar, wind, hydro, plasma, tidal – some other form of energy – or we’re all going to be suffering terribly!!

          • NoNumberNow

            The title of the discussion is “The Sun Is Rising On Solar Panels, And There’s No Fighting It”. Use on non fossil fuels is a great idea and the more the sooner the better. Fossil fuel burning is the main source of CO2 emissions–we can agree on that. China may be looking at alternative fuel supplies, like solar, but it such a small part of their overall fuel production, like 1%, to be virtually insignificant. For health reasons, they are ramping up production and installation of solar power sources. China and India have about 30% of the world’s population and are industrializing at a break neck speed-with little regard for infrastructure to handle their growing contribution to all types of pollution. The USA has about 5% of the world’s population. We could be 100% non-fossil fuel and the atmosphere will still be crappy, not to mention the oceans which are just as important as the air we breathe.

          • Independent1

            And if you doubt that global warming is occurring, take about 15 minutes to read the following article and watch this video with time-lapse photos of the way Alaska’s glaciers have been melting over the past decade while pouring more water into the Gulf of Alaska than the water that flows out of a number of major rivers in the world each year.

            Massive Glacier Melt and Fresh Water are Pouring into the Gulf of Alaska

            And here’s a link to the article:



          • NoNumberNow

            We were talking about solar generated power. You are drifting off again.

          • Independent1

            Fossil fuel companies aren’t big in the red state of Georgia either, but the red state of Georgia leads the nation in people converting to solar. At least one of those Red States that only live within their means seems to have woken up to the fact that solar is the way to go:

            See this from PewTrusts:

            In 2013, Georgia boasted the fastest-growing solar energy market in the U.S., adding 91 megawatts of capacity, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. The state has enough solar capacity to power 8,405 homes. From 2012 to 2013, solar industry jobs in Georgia more than tripled, rising from 800 to 2,600 — the largest percentage increase of any state.

            That growth is expected to continue, thanks to several factors: strong clean energy research programs at state institutions such as Georgia Tech, funded in part by U.S. Department of Energy grants; public-private partnerships; falling costs for renewables and strong leadership from the Georgia Public Service Commission.GPSC commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, after watching the rise of solar in Arizona, California, and elsewhere, persuaded Georgia Power to include solar energy in the utility’s 2013 integrated resource plan. “I told them, ‘We can do this as partners and get it done, or as adversaries and everyone — including ratepayers — will lose,’ ” McDonald says.

            Today, Georgia’s renewable energy industry shows yet again that what’s good for the environment can also be very good for the economy. Georgia’s clean energy sector attracted $477 million in private investment in 2013, the eighth-highest figure in the nation. Of that, $326 million went to the solar sector, a 1,025 percent increase over 2012. The state is now home to more than 140 solar companies.


          • NoNumberNow

            Again, I advise you start with a synopsis: Your lengthy diatribes loaded with numbers and stats are a bit much for an informal blog site. If information, per se, could persuade people to act responsibly, then you are definitely at the forefront. But, as you are obviously aware, ignorance, tradition and bad government still prevail over common sense, logic and goodness. There is no question that alternate sources of energy should be pursued, along with conservation. As long as I see metropolitan areas lite up at night, bright street lights on empty streets, people driving big honkin gas sucking cars and trucks, central air and heat tuned to the max, people living in big houses they don’t need, we are still a long way from the general public grasping the severity of the situation. This is just in the USA. China, India and Africa far exceed our pollution and misuse of natural resources. Californians are learning their lesson now. Really, relying on snow for your water supply with no backup plan: That is bad government. Arizona and Nevada should be seeing the writing on the wall.

          • Independent1

            “China, India, Africa far exceed our pollution….”

            Sorry, wrong again. The U.S. is number 2 in pollution-emitting CO2 generation, and produces more than 3-4 times the pollution of any other country on the planet other than China.

            Here’s a polluting country list from 2013:

            Country/Tons of CO2 generation:

            S. Korea/514

            Note that there are no African countries in that list. And China is working harder than the U.S. to bring their CO2 emissions down.

          • Ran_dum_Thot

            Roof top residential solar PV will at best probably account for no more than a 20% decrease in residential power usage. It is the commercial and industrial world that really uses the power in this country. I am all for starting with levels of government reducing their power consumption by 50% by the end of 2016. Now that would be an impressive political move.

          • Independent1

            Sure, but that’s not reason to not be positive about residential solar. Each time a homeowner converts to solar, it reduces a little the fossil fuel power demand both by allowing the homeowner to use power from the sun, but also because that homeowner’s solar system generally feeds excess power back into the grid. And it usually also frees up money for that homeowner that they can spend on the economy, boosting the economy instead of feeding money into the deep pockets of fossil fuel companies that often invest their profits overseas.

            From the standpoint of who really gets helped in the conversion, I think it’s a tradeoff. Sure, large commercial users may actually reduce fossil fuels the most, but converting 500 homes to solar may outstrip what a commercial may use and will end up putting far more dollars back into the economy than what would happen from a commercial conversion.

        • Independent1

          Solar City makes money because the solar system generally produces more electricity than the homeowner uses, which feeds back into the grid; meaning that what Solar City really ends up paying for the power a user uses, is peanuts. Meaning that, not only are they getting money back from the homeowner for the panels, what they’re paying for the power the homeowner is using from the grid to the backup power company, can be close to ZERO dollars because the power is coming from the sun – FOR FREE!!

          • NoNumberNow

            Solar systems are not cheap. $15,000 to $60,000 is a typical price range. Companies like SolarCity use a lease program or version thereof to make it affordable for most homeowners. For areas with no lease program, by any name, there probably isn’t much, if any, monetary savings. The big savings is fewer trees and less carbon based fuels being used. I’m curious of the environmental cost of producing the solar equipment. That never seems to be discussed. In areas like mine with these nasty little weather issues called tornadoes and straight line winds, I wonder what the a lease program would really cost. I can promise you that broken panels will be a normal and expected issue.

  • [email protected]

    Solar panels sound attractive, but could you stored the electricity in batteries? Is that an idea that may become possible.?

    • johninPCFL

      It’s done today, but using batteries to power the whole house (including a few tons of air conditioning) is less practical than backing up the solar system with grid power.

    • Independent1

      Yes. The battery company that creates the battery for Tesla cars, has created a battery that will store enough electricity to power a reasonably sized house over a few cloudy days.

      SolarCity to back up solar with Tesla batteries

      Dec 05, 2013 by Jonathan Fahey

      The solar panel installer SolarCity is beginning to address one of solar power’s big drawbacks: The sun doesn’t always shine.

      The solution: big battery packs that will provide backup power while lowering electric bills. The supplier: electric car maker Tesla Motors, whose CEO Elon Musk is also the chairman of SolarCity.

      “Our goal is to be an energy provider, to provide all energy services,” said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive.

      The batteries will be offered first to commercial customers because of the way many commercial electric bills are calculated. SolarCity is also conducting a pilot program in California for homeowners, but because residential bills are calculated differently—and the batteries are so expensive—it could be years before batteries make financial sense for homes.

      Read more at:

      • hicusdicus

        Solar units don’t produce AC electric. Batteries and there manufacture are one of the most polluting items on this planet.

        • Independent1

          Hogwash!! They’re no where near as polluting as strip mining for coal that destroys streams, lakes, rivers and land for miles around; like WV where almost 1/3 of the state is now polluted. Nor like fracking; which has polluted ground waters and wells and land all over the nation. Nor like mining oil sands in Canada which has destroyed centuries-old boreal forests.

          The pollution created in manufacturing batteries can much more easily be controlled, than apparently even the mindless coal industry nitwits are willing for; who refuse to spend the money to put scrubbers on the smoke stacks of their coal-burning power plants!! Nothing!! Threatens are lives like coal burning power plants. Thousands of Americans are dying every year prematurely from lung, heart and other diseases; because of the coal industry refusing to clean up their act.

          And I didn’t even mention all the polluting, that oil derricks do; which together with the pollution from fracking and coal-fired power plants, has turned Texas into the nation’s most polluted state.

          Sorry, fossil fuel energy creation, as the main source for the world’s energy needs, just has to be reduced to as little a level as is humanly possible!!!

          • hicusdicus

            One of the worse polluted ares in the country is in Washington.

            It was the site of a battery manufacturing plant. You are completely to partially wrong on ever subject you talk about. Talk about ignorant. There have been scrubbers on coal fired plants for years its mandatory. Its hard to tell if you are stupid or malicious. You are certainly not credible. What ever your agenda is, your uninformed rants don’t help your cause.

          • Independent1

            Talk about being ignorant, you’e probably the most clueless poster on the NM!! A large portion of the coal fired power plants have refused to install the scrubbers required by the clean air act. And with the help of ALEC, have been able to get around the regulations.

            You’re talking about polluting one small area of one city. I’m talking about polluting whole state; or polluting the air of the entire nation!! Coal is the largest polluter on the planet!!! Like those still running cigarette manufacturing, those still operating coal mines should all be put in jail. Because they know the product they produce KILLS THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE EVERY YEAR!!!!!!!!

            See this from coal-is-dirty dot com clueless:

            #1: “Clean” Coal Kills People

            The United States burns almost a billion tons of coal each year – that’s almost 20 pounds of coal for every person in the country, every day.

            The American Lung Association and the Clean Air Task Force (CATF) claims that 13,000 people die each year from coal pollution–down from 24,000 in 2004, when less pollution regulation was enforced. In addition to the premature deaths, CATF estimates that every year coal pollution is responsible for 12,000 emergency room visits, 20,000 heart attacks, and over 200,000 asthma attacks.

            See Sierra Club fact sheet: The Health Costs of Coal

            Coal’s annual death toll is formidable in other countries as well. Recent, credible estimates include:

            22,500 premature deaths in Europe every year

            100,000 premature deaths in India every year

            260,000 premature deaths in China every year

            Coal mining itself results in the death, injury and illness of miners every year, as detailed below.

            #2: “Clean” Coal Creates Less Jobs than Real Clean Energy

            If you listen to the coal industry, you may get the impression that they are the only energy companies capable of putting people to work. In reality, investments in renewable energy or energy efficiency have been shown to create far more jobs than equal investments in fossil fuel industries (see Green For All citing UC Berkeley, SolarLove citing U-Mass at Amherst, Citizen’s Climate Lobby references).

            #3: “Clean” Coal Is Costly and Expensive

            According to a 2011 study published by the late Paul Epstein at Harvard, coal imposes external costs of $350 billion to $500 billion — half a trillion dollars — every year in the U.S.

            Rather than acknowledge how Americans already are paying these external costs of coal with their own deteriorated health, the coal industry cries foul whenever the government takes even the smallest steps to curb pollution and its deadly impact on the public. Whenever efforts are made to internalize these costs and reduce coal’s health impact on people, the coal industry passes higher electricity costs onto its customers and paints protective regulations as if they were new, sudden costs, rather than acknowledging how ignoring coal’s toll on human health has been a massive informal subsidy for the industry for well over a Century.

            In contrast, coal mining and coal-burning utility industries spend millions of dollars on political contributions and millions more on lobbying the federal government to keep regulations at bay that would result in less coal pollution.

            Clean energy industries employ far more people than the coal industry. The U.S. solar industry alone is beginning to overtake the coal mining sector with higher employment figures, according to 2014 data released by the Solar Foundation.

            Ironically, while the coal industry and coal-state politicians have accused the Obama administration of waging a “war on coal,” coal mining jobs have increased under the Obama Administration as compared to the George W. Bush administration.

            #4. Clean coal is fuel for global warming.


          • NoNumberNow

            Most of the U.S. coal plants without scrubbers are scheduled to be shut down in the very near future.. So why should scrubbers be installed? How do you plan to get China and India to reduce coal usage? Answer: You can’t. One thing China has a lot of besides people, is low grade coal resources. The clean energy industry employs more people than coal. That shows you how labor intensive alternate power is. I do see a great opportunity to thin the ranks of the unemployed and reduce the multitude of beneficiaries of umpteen entitlement programs, however! With all those new jobs to be created over the next few decades we can eliminate unemployment. Yea!!!

          • Independent1

            China has realized that coal is polluting the entire country and is now moving towards solar. And like with high-speed rail, it has already installed more solar than any other country in the world.

            Just like China over the past 2 decades has made America look like a quasi 3rd world nation with respect to out infrastructure. Its rapidly doing the same thing with converting to solar. We don’t need to prompt China into cutting coal – it’s already on the way to doing so:

            See this from SCMP.dom:

            China installed a record 12GW of solar power last year, doubling its rate of solar installations, according to preliminary figures. This is more than has ever been installed by any country in a single year and means that the mainland installed three times more solar energy last year than the total British solar capacity.

            he preliminary figure is estimated by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) which tracks energy figures globally. BNEF said the figure may even be 14GW due to a rush to install solar energy towards the end last year due to a feed-in tariff for large photovoltaic (PV) projects that ended on December 31. A final figure was expected next month.

            Other estimates have put the figure lower, but these could also rise due to the end-of-year increase. The Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association put the figure at 10.7GW and mainland media has quoted industry sources putting the figure at least 9.5GW.


          • NoNumberNow

            China gets about 70% of its energy from coal and plans to reduce that to 55% by 2050. Wow. Only 18% of their energy is fueled by oil, btw. Renewable resources only account for about 1% of their energy production. They are the biggest importer of oil in the world and are a world leader in overall pollution. According to WHO, the top 5 most air polluted countries in the world: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Qatar, Bangladesh, and Iran. You seem to have a problem grasping the concept of “prospective” when bandwagoning your favorite horror of the day.

          • Lynda Groom

            A good place to start in obtaining a better understanding of ‘scrubbers’ and their use in this country is the EPA. ‘Steam Powered Generating Source Category: Detailed Study’ dated Aug 2008. Table 3-1 and pages 3-9 addressed the scrubbers.

            They found 351 coal power plants w/o scubbers. The found 146 with scrubbers for a total of 497. They found 990 generating units w/o scrubbers and 290 generating units with scrubbers for a total of 1280.

            Indeed those numbers tend to move up and down, but the data does show the industry has a great way to go before ‘there have been scrubbers on coal fired plants.’ Indeed for plants built after 1978 they’re mandatory. Another report shows that since before WWII up to 1466 generating units were built, 1122 of which were built before the mandate for scrubbers. It might be fun to due further research to see how many have been fitted, but thats for someone else to deal with.

          • hicusdicus

            I understand a bunch of these plants are going to be retired. Why do all these people think these plants can be shut off at the snap of someones fingers. I am not dening they need replacement but until there is some way to pick up the loss of electricity they must continue. A few years ago due to an ice storm we went without electricity and water for 16 days. I guarantee you don’t want that. It seems like all our so called leaders don’t have any ability to lead.

      • NoNumberNow

        SolarCity’s primary emphasis is residential housing. Their few non-residential projects are mainly farms, vinyards, office buildings, but no industrial complexes. The cost for the projects are mostly subsidized by federal grants and the like. On a small scale, solar has potential. But when the sun don’t shine, back-up is necessary. The start up cost is still prohibitive. Tesla storage batteries are made by Panasonic. Storage batteries for solar systems have been around for along time. But until there is a break thru in battery technology, those puppies will be darned expensive just like the solar panels. You don’t really need to site out of date references. Get your fingers moving and stay up-to-date.

    • hicusdicus

      OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! did Rip van winkle just wake up?

  • fortunev

    Batteries have been used for energy storage of solar panels for years. You need to Google the internet for factual information, of which there’s tons. My family’s home in Washington’s Cascade Mountains is totally self-sufficient for electrical energy due to solar power. Off the grid. Heating with wood in a Russian-style fireplace. True freedom.

  • Jack Ross

    I think most people now recognize that Obama is delusional.

    • Eleanore Whitaker

      Jack Ross…take your male overbloated steroidal ego and shove it. What has that to do with the Topic? Solar was here LONG before Obama was president. You are a hateful jerk moron. How about grow up?

      Texas is taking a hit and so are the rest of the Big Oil states. Hate that don’t you Asshat?

      Solar energy is here to stay and has overridden ALL GOP attempts to stop it. That you never saw it coming shows what a dipshit you and your Big Oil Drill Baby Drill asshats are.

    • Independent1

      Really?? Delusional in what way??

      If he’s delusional, then America needs more of that, given that during Obama’s 6 years in office, more positive things have taken place in America than during the disastrous 28 years that the last 5 GOP presidents were in office!!

      Think back across those 28 years, and aside from starting wars and providing lax security for overseas office were thousands of Americans died – what positive did Nixon, Ford, Reagan and the 2 Buses ever accomplish? Nothing!!

      Compare that to just these few accomplishments over the past 6 years under Obama – and I’m omitting many:

      -Obama has presided over the longest stretch of positive jobs growth in U.S. history (60 months & counting).

      -The stock market has virtually tripled during Obama’s 6 years in office to heights never reached before making retirement much easier for millions of retirees such as myself.

      -America’s energy sector is now the largest producer of energy on the planet for the 1st time in history; creating an alternative energy sector that will soon make fossil fuels needed only for backup energy.

      -More troublesome illegal aliens have been rounded up and deported in the past 6 years than under any other president (or combination of presidents) .

      -The auto industry that Obama bailed out is achieving profits the past 2 years it hadn’t seen since the 1990s. And a 1.5 million people are working today who wouldn’t be had the industry gone bankrupt.

      -Deficit spending has come down further and faster over the past 6 years than at any other time in our history: from 1.4T to under 450B in 5 budgets.

      -Unemployment has come down further and faster over the past 6 years than at any other time in our history: from 10.1% to under 5.8%. A year plus faster than it came down under Reagan.

      -The Obama administration has brought more crooks to justice trying to defraud our government in the Defense and Health Care sectors; recovering Billions of dollars – more than any combination of previous presidents.

      -Obama’s 2009 Stimulus Package incentivized the private sector to create numerous alternative energy companies in the solar, wind, hydro, tidal and plasma fields such that the alternative energy sector is poised to greatly reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels in the near future.

      -America’s new health care legislation, ACA, has already been responsible for keeping at least 75,000 Americans from dying prematurely; and for creating thousands of new jobs while saving hospitals more than $6 billion and saving taxpayers in states across America millions to billions depending on their populations.

      -By cutting the banks out of the student loan process, Obama has allowed hundreds of thousands, maybe millions more HS students to get loans for college than under any previous president.

  • Interesting. I live in Namibia where we have loads of sun and we’re way behind the rest of the world in solar use. We’re busy planning putting solar in for our own house right now.

    • Independent1

      Good for you!!! We need more of that everywhere on the planet!!

  • Ama Zohn

    It seems that John Adams was correct when he noted that our sacred Constitution could only be preserved by a moral and religious people.

    • NoNumberNow

      He also said: “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” and “When legislature is corrupted, the people are undone.”